Sunday, August 05, 2001


 Yesterday's journal entry (the one about product placement) brought the following e-mail from my friend John M. Ford (talking about his first contact novel The Final Reflection):

Promise I am not making this up. I can show you the book, if you
think your nerves can stand it.

Toward the end of the German edition of REFLECTION, just before Dr.
Tagore says goodbye to Krenn for the last time. there's about a half-page of
"blacked-out" lines, and then the text starts talking about how tiring it
is for old guys like Emanuel to beam up and down, but a hot Maggi bouillon
cube will fix everything up just ducky. This goes on for a page or so, and
then there are some more blacked lines, and the book resumes.
Now, so far as I know, I didn't get a Deutschmark for this, or even a
case of Maggi soup (which I wouldn't have minded having, especially the
potato-leek) but it sure enough was a weird thing to see. Still is.

And, of course, I do believe him -- I remember Terry Pratchett telling me about his incredulity at discovering a soup advert in the text of I think it was SOURCERY, again the same sort of thing -- "By now you might think our heroes would be pretty exhausted from all this running around. I bet they wished they had a nice cup of Maggi Soup..." If memory serves (and my apologies if it doesn't), Mr Heyne of Heyne publishing had done the deal with the soup company himself, and was only dissuaded from this course after a number of foreign authors (and probably some German ones as well) threatened to take their books away from Heyne.

There's a rather wonderful review of American Gods at

A look at the Locus Bestseller roundup shows that American Gods remains up there on the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller list (up 6 places to number 4), after 10 weeks. Which makes me happy.

And things really and truly honestly and actually seem to be happening now with the website -- journals will be changing, FAQ things will start to occur, content will begin to appear, or so I am assured. So if there's any problems with pages you've bookmarked (like this one), head back for the home page and come forward from there...

Which means that I get to see whether or not DirecPC will actually ever put in the two way internet satellite thingie I signed up for back in May. (A kafkaesque story I shall tell when I get around to it.)